Liverpool have proven themselves as unrivalled kings in their ability to turn relegated stars into European superstars and following the Reds’ hard-fought 3-2 victory against West Ham United could Jurgen Klopp see lightning strike a third time?
Shrewd recruitment has been at the heart of Liverpool’s resurgence under their inspiring German manager. Georginio Wijnaldum (£25m) and Andy Robertson (£10m) were both plucked from teams who had just been relegated from the English top-flight and are now key components in a team that’s rewriting the history books.
One player who could be a viable option should his current club see the drop come the end of the season is West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell. The former Liverpool academy star is a player who could be utilised to provide some much-needed cover in the Reds’ left-back department.
Currently, Liverpool’s only alternate options to irreplaceable figure Andy Robertson are youngsters Yasser Larouci and Adam Lewis.
The Scotland captain has once again been a durable and ever-present figure for Klopp’s team having started all-but-one PL game this season. By the end of the season, Robertson could have started more than 50 matches for Liverpool and could be seen as a player at risk of burn-out.
The Reds have already benefited this season following the signing of a former West Ham hero. Adrian found himself without a club following his release from the Hammers in 2019 leaving the Spaniard training on his own in his home city of Seville, waiting to see what offers would come to the fore. The glamour of the Champions League seemed a world away.
Since his move to Anfield, Adrian has proven a formidable back-up to the best goalkeeper in the world after being handed an early baptism of fire following a calf-injury to Alisson Becker in early August.
There were genuine fears that the absence of Alisson until October would wreck Liverpool’s pursuit of the big prizes this season and yet with Adrian in goal, the Reds maintained a 100 per cent league record.
Liverpool’s ability to identify hidden talent has been the fundamental element in their rise back to the pinnacle of European football. Klopp and FSG have a rare ability in identifying hidden gems and transforming them into elite match winners.
Cresswell has already had dreams of playing at Anfield before he was let go from his boyhood club Liverpool at the age of 15.
“My dad told me in the car,” Cresswell told The Telegraph. “I couldn’t get my head around it at first. They pull the parents to one side and tell them, ‘it’s not to be but it’s not the end’.
“I was devastated. As a kid, you are in a bubble of playing for Liverpool. It was all I had done for two years and I had enjoyed it so much.”
Cresswell went on to make his way up the lower leagues with Tranmere Rovers before joining Ipswich and eventually making his way to the top with West Ham in 2014.
The three-time capped England international has Premier League experience in abundance and pending a potential relegation into the Championship could be seeking a new club come the end of the season.
Creswell has 138 top-flight appearances which would see him as a more than sufficient option behind Robertson at full-back. He is currently under contract at the London Stadium until 2023 and has far too much quality to consider dropping down a division.
The attraction of linking up with the English champions-elect coupled with the opportunity of finally making it at his boyhood club could be significant in a deal potentially materialising in the summer.